Nationwide meningococcal vaccination campaign starts in Fiji
SUVA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Fijian parents have been urged to ensure their children are vaccinated as Fiji's nationwide meningococcal vaccination campaign rolls out from Monday.
This campaign came after Fiji's Ministry of Health had declared an outbreak of the life threatening meningococcal disease in March this year. Fijian children under the age of 19 have started receiving vaccination from Monday. More than 333,000 children across the island nation are expected to be vaccinated over the next few months.
Fiji's Health Minister Rosy Akbar has urged parents and guardians to ensure their children are vaccinated from the life-threatening disease.
"Vaccination not only protects individuals from life-threatening diseases but it also offers protection to the community at large. As such it is also important that community members are aware of the proven effectiveness of immunization in saving lives and preventing serious morbidity and mortality," said Akbar.
The cost of vaccination stands at around 10 million Fijian dollars (4.8 million U.S. dollars).
Fiji's Ministry of Health has acquired over 124,000 doses of vaccine for the first phase of the program, and another batch of 200,000 doses is being procured and expected to arrive soon.
World Health Organization Pacific Technical Support Officer Wendy Snowdon said on Friday that it was important that individuals got vaccinated.
Fijian health authorities confirmed earlier this month that there were 58 reported cases of meningococcal from Jan. 1 to April 22 this year.
There have been four confirmed deaths from the meningococcal disease this year from the age group of less than five years old.[ Editor: zyq ]